Naomi Neo has to 'split herself into 2' to balance latest business venture, content creation & family

Maintaining a balance between career and family is not easy, but Naomi Neo manages.

Elliot Tan | February 07, 2024, 05:39 PM

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Naomi Neo is one of Singapore's most influential digital personalities -- it's hard to imagine her as anything else.

But she contains multitudes.

As someone who's always had a passion for hair, she told Mothership that a career in hairstyling is something Neo also considered.

Marketing was also a possibility, as she recalled: “My dad's always bringing me to his workplace, so I've always been very interested in advertising.”

Yet, as we all know, life had very different plans for her.

Her journey

Neo's voyage into the digital world started at the age of 11 when she started blogging – something that was trendy in schools at the time.

“It was mostly because I needed a space to kind of air my thoughts and it was like a mini diary, and to just share my life to nobody.”

Photo from Naomi Neo's website

She continued down this path, eventually leading to her transition to social media, where she began content creation as a serious pursuit.

This meant that she had to juggle work and school at the same time, as she studied art management at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), an education which greatly benefited her as an influencer.

“I was studying really hard in case social media doesn’t work out,” she said.

Key takeaways from social media

When asked if there was something she would’ve done differently as an influencer, Neo said she wishes she had approached controversial topics more cautiously, because of all the "trouble" she encountered in her earlier years.

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A post shared by Naomi Neo 梁文珊 (@naomineo_)

The best advice she can give after 16 years of experience as a content creator, however, is to always remember why you started doing what you love in the first place, and stay true to your original purpose.

For her, that purpose was to share personal experiences and stories to help others feel less alone in whatever problems they were facing.

Naomi Neo, the entrepreneur

Neo lives by this philosophy to this day, evident from her latest wellness venture – Empath, which focuses on providing consumables that encompasses aspects of body, skin, and haircare.

The brand was born out of her realisation that people could relate to her experiences and needs, especially after her pregnancy when she experienced weight and hair loss issues.

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A post shared by Empath by Naomi Neo (@empath.global)

Unsurprisingly, people have had their reservations about an influencer starting a company that sells supplements.

But Naomi reassures that she has partnered with industry experts to ensure her products are safe and natural.

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A post shared by Empath by Naomi Neo (@empath.global)

When asked to choose between content creation and her business, she likened the dilemma to choosing between her children.

“I see this whole entrepreneurship journey more like a newborn, like a baby that needs to be taken care of and needs a lot of attention and focus. I still love my first child, which is obviously content creation, how I started on my journey.”

Naomi Neo, the mother

As a mother of two, Naomi tries to maintain a delicate balance between her family and career, sometimes having to "split herself into two" trying to do so.

“I’ll start off my day at the gym, and then once I'm done, I'll finish all my work that I have to [do], be it my content stuff or whether it's my business. And then once I'm done, that's when I pick the kids up from school.”

She reveals her approach to maintaining this balance, stating that she accepts that some days she just can't give it her 100 per cent, but can make up for it the next day.

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A post shared by Naomi Neo 梁文珊 (@naomineo_)

Naomi sees children as “a blank piece of canvas waiting for us to, kind of guide them along the way.”

Because of this, she admits to feeling “mom guilt” whenever she’s not able to fully be present with her children due to work.

The challenge of being a mom becomes even more complex with two kids in the picture -- Kyzo and Zyla -- as each child brings their unique set of needs and desires to the table.

“I have to split myself up into two and figure out what's best for each child,” she explained.

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Top photos from Naomi Neo.